The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launched an online tool on Thursday (July 29) to help renters and landlords search and apply for help to cover rent, utilities and other costs, according to a press release. The Rental Assistance Finder aims to help renters stay housed by connecting tenants and landlords with state and local programs disbursing federal assistance nationwide.
“Millions of people are behind on their rent and at risk of eviction as a result of the pandemic,” said CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio. “The Rental Assistance Finder will make it easier for renters and landlords to locate the financial assistance available in their area.”
Further underlining the need for financial assistance, a CFPB analysis of Census Household Pulse Survey data found that from June 23–July 5 of this year, 16 percent of adults living in rentals said they were behind on payments. Of those late on rent, 49 percent — roughly 3.6 million — said that eviction in the next two months was “somewhat or very likely.”
“People across the country are already receiving billions of dollars in assistance, and with this new tool, we hope even more renters and landlords will take advantage of this emergency relief. This money is a win-win for both landlords and renters and a better outcome for all than costly, needless evictions,” said Uejio.
As PYMNTS reported in May, the Department of the Treasury distributed $6.1 billion to help landlords and renters as part of the $21.6 billion Emergency Rental Assistance program. According to PYMNTS data from May 2020, 91.5 percent of renters had made payments as compared to 95.6 for the same period in 2019.
The federal government has earmarked more than $46 billion to assist tenants unable to pay rent, utilities and other housing-related expenses. All 50 states, as well as local, tribal, and other programs, are distributing funds.